And that is perhaps the greatest significance of this fight: developing countries are beginning to organise within the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in order to change policies. These two institutions have been controlled by Washington, with varying amounts of input from other rich countries, since their founding nearly seven decades ago. Many of their policies have been harmful to developing countries. But in contrast to the World Trade Organisation – where developing countries form blocs and fight for their interests – the world’s majority has mostly let the rich countries run the show in the IMF and World Bank.
Over the past decade the IMF has lost most of its power in developing countries and, as a result, Washington has also lost its most important avenue of influence over their policies. The middle-income countries of Asia, most of Latin America, Russia and others all made sure that they would never have to borrow again from the fund.